Weight Loss: Where Do I Start?

Featured Article, News and Advice, Weight Loss
on February 15, 2012
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I am currently doing Insanity to get into the habit of working out regularly. I have not, however, been very faithful as far as the diet portion is concerned. I'm a bit torn because I want to lose weight but I also want to build lasting healthy habits. I was thinking of simply focusing on fitness first until I am in the habit and then revamp my eating habits later. But I am very impatient and I want to lose weight quickly. Is my plan a good one to start out with? Or should I try and change everything now?--Maria

DEAR MARIA: It’s so great that you’re working out and focusing on making exercise a regular part of your life! Insanity is certainly a challenging program, but if you like it enough to do it regularly, go for it!

I think you know what I'm going to say regarding whether you should be patient and build healthy habits or take a hurry-up approach. I focused on exercise at first and I'm a big believer in that approach. Establishing a habit of regular exercise is crucial to your long-term health and wellness. For one thing, it unleashes a whole slew of positive messages, both emotional and physical. Your body experiences the natural mood-lifting benefits of endorphins (proven to help battle depression) and in your head, you start believing that YOU CAN CHANGE. This belief is THE thing that will keep you going when the going gets tough … when life happens and you are tired and/or stressed and just want to go home, plop on the couch and eat (I don't know about you, but that's what I want to do when I'm tired and stressed!). PLUS, research shows that regular exercise is the key to good health, regardless of how much weight you lose in the process. So you can still be pounds away from your weight-loss goal and enjoy all the physical benefits of exercise.

If you're in this to truly lose weight and keep it off, you need to be active regularly and address your diet. But I'm a big believer that taking it one step at a time is the best way to make healthy habits stick. You're doing a big enough thing by tackling Insanity! Give yourself time to start feeling powerful so that you will have the drive and stamina to take on your diet. Then start by making small changes—setting limits on your biggest food offenders (fast food? Soda? Carbs?), for instance, and adding healthier options (fruits, veggies, whole grains). I hope this helps you on your journey!